The year 2009 has been like no other in the lifetime of Americans born after World War II. Dreams that once were the anticipated reward for hard work have become nightmares for many families now distressed by foreclosures, financial fear and frustration. This year, things are tough all over-for everyone.
A recession cripples employers as well as employees, government services as well as taxpayers, philanthropists as well as charities.
The middle-class is tilting toward poverty, and those already impoverished will suffer the most. Food banks are bare, homeless shelters are at capacity and not since the Great Depression will soup kitchens see more action.
In spite of all the bad economic news, ETC will continue to move forward equipping thousands of the most vulnerable kids in shelters, juvenile detention and inner-city after-school programs with bootstrap power tools for becoming self-respecting adults who contribute to society: sparkling-new books and libraries.
In low-income, high-crime neighborhoods where public and school libraries are locked or closing, ETC libraries serve entire communities. Perhaps for the first time in their lives, parents can depend on reliable resources for their kids.
ETC and its nonprofit colleagues accept the reality that struggling families must have all the help they can get for their immediate needs. We believe that investments in progressive ideas with proven long-range impact are the real answer to breaking a cycle of ignorance and poverty that has persisted for too many generations already.
As I look forward to the promise of a brighter 2010, I am reminded now more than ever of the words of William Pennů
We pass through this world but once; so do now any good you can do, and show now any kindness you can show; for we shall not pass this way again.
Patricia C. Kindermann
Local Volunteers - Philadelphia/Montgomery County Area
YEAR-ROUND WISH LIST
Any CHRIS CRUTCHER Novel
Embracing the Child